Technology

Session Date: 
Oct 16, 2021
Speakers: 

Technology is clearly central to human life and evolution but remains hard to define and study. This talk is an evolutionarily motivated definition of technology that highlights three key features: material production, social collaboration, and cultural reproduction. The broad scope encompassed by this definition respects the complexity of the subject but poses a challenge for theoretical unification. Addressing this challenge requires a comparative approach to reduce the diversity of real-world technological cognition to a smaller number of recurring processes and relationships. To this end, a synthetic Perceptual Motor Hypothesis for the evolutionary-developmental-cultural construction of technological cognition is advanced as a target for further investigation. This perspective has important implications for the way we conceptualize and study the origins and evolution of human technologies.